Those of you (crazy/kind) people who have been following my vlogs will know that I’ve been keeping a pretty big secret. For the last few months I’ve been downsizing my possessions, applying for visas and filling out a zillion forms for a move down under. Today it actually happened.
As you well know I’ve spent the last 5 years travelling at least once a month. I love having a home base and the stability and fluffy duvet that affords me, but my sense of itchy feet has in no waned over the 4.5 years of running this blog. In fact, it has probably got worse.
Something I have never done though is live abroad. I’ve never put myself in a situation where I had to start anew. Never moved to a country where they have words for things I don’t understand (doona* anyone?) and indigenous animals I have never heard of. My partner is Australian and as I watched him build a life and career in London, delighting at the bizarre British quirks I’d often complain about, I started to long for a similar experience for myself. We discussed it at length. We wanted to relocate at a time and in a way that worked for us both. Although my boyfriend is from Melbourne we have moved to Sydney, we’ve put ourselves in the same challenging boat.
(Hard to say goodbye)
Leaving London was more heart breaking than I ever imagined. The problem was I hadn’t really imagined that part at all, focusing on what I would gain rather than those I would miss. (Janet Jackson was right, ‘you don’t what you’ve got till its gone’.) I didn’t realise how much I meant to my friends and family, and they to me, until I told them I would be relocating to the other side of the world. Saying goodbye hurt, a lot.
But I am so excited about what the boyf and I have in store. The new haunts we’re going to hang out in, the people we’ll meet, the lingo I’ll learn and the exciting work we will (hopefully) do. I am only a Facebook status, Skype call or Tweet away from everyone back home. We’re super keen to host guests and I’ll be going back for visits often.
(Flying First Class)
To soften the blow of the epically long flight and sad goodbyes was the luxury of our First Class flight! As you may have seen from my over-excited Facebook updates we saved up our air miles and cashed in a companion voucher so we could relocate in style. As well as trying out a flat bed for the first time, flying First gave us a generous luggage allowance (3 checked bags each and 1 hand luggage) which we milked to the max! We routed via Tokyo and spent a few hours experiencing Japanese hospitality during the long layover (seems like a strange dream now but I have the passport stamp to prove it happened!) A full report on that First Class experience and how we came to redeem it will be on the blog soon.
(Tea break in Japan)
I’ll also be continuing to blog about my travels (lots of plans for Australian and Asian exploration in the pipeline) as well as bringing you updates on how we’re settling in Sydney. We’ve booked an apartment via AirBnb for the first 4 weeks and it’s as gorgeous in real life as it looked on the website. It works out at £60 a night so is far cheaper than a hotel and far more luxurious than a hostel. I’ve been quite comfy blogging from the corner sofa this afternoon and feel a strange connection to the owners based on the contents taped to their fridge!
(Our AirBnb rental in Kensington Sydney)
Earlier this morning, though, there was a little bit of confusion with the keys which meant we were temporarily homeless. Whilst we waited to hear back from AirBnb or the owner my partner drove us out to Bondi Beach. We sat in our rental car, all our worldly possessions in the boot and soaked in the scene. Neither of us panicked. We were smiling. That’s got to be a good sign right?
*Doona is the Aussie word for duvet. Expect an Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo to be posted soon!
40 thoughts on “I’ve Moved To The Land Down Under!”
Ah, this post brought back so many memories! I moved to Perth in Western Australia when I was 16, I still remember the huge upheaval, packing up our whole lives, saying goodbye to family. And I still remember when we landed and the first time we went to the beach…the grin on my face wouldn’t budge. Even though it wasn’t a totally new place to me (we’d been going every year since I was 7 due to my aunt&uncle living there), it was still pretty scary and exciting.
You’re gonna have an amazing time, it’s such a beautiful country! If you ever need tips or recommendations, let me know – I’ve travelled all over Western Australia many times.
I’m back in London now, but am definitely planning to move back in a few years time. I feel like I belong there.
Looking forward to reading your posts! One place you absolutely must visit in Sydney is the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, they’re so beautiful!
Thanks so much Catherine! Everyone who has ever spent an extended time here has such positive things to say – I’m sure we will love it too.
Thanks also for the tip re the gardens, I had no idea they were there and your pictures look beautiful. Can’t wait to visit.
Oh wow! I think you live pretty close to where I am! I’m in Randwick as well (I live on the UNSW campus) Hope you have a great time settling in. 🙂
How funny! We did a food shop in Randwick Woolies today 🙂
Thanks for your best wishes. J
Ahhh, congratulations! I’m sure your posts will be making me very homesick for my hometown. You will love it – there’s no place like Sydney.
Thank you, we can remind each other of our homes cities 🙂
As a serial expat who just moved to Hong Kong last year (for the 2nd time!) I can fully appreciate what a huge change this is and wish you the best of luck! The apartment looks FABULOUS and your relatively easy access to the beach (swoon) is jealousy-inducing. So excited for your and hope to see you in Asia or Australia at some point! x
You were an inspiration for me Oneika! Your passion and excitement for living in Hong Kong was contagious. Hope to cross paths with you sometime soon. J x
Wow, I can just imagine how excited you must have felt when you were on your way to the airport! I hope the move brings lots of new opportunities and adventures your way 🙂
Thank you Nicola. I can’t wait to write about them 😉
Oh my! Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading your take on the other side of the world. Hope you settle in smoothly. I’m sure there are lots of great adventures in store for you.(Glad we finally managed a little trip together though before you left.)
Thanks Kat, it was great to travel together. If you make it over here maybe we can do it again!
So exciting! I’m an American in London, but have always wanted to live in Australia. Hoping to visit next year! Look forward to reading about your new adventures 🙂
Thanks M! Hopefully I make it more tempting for you 🙂
SO excited for you and Justin and this adventure!!!!! Now how do we convince Danté to do the same with me…..
Haha persistent begging paid off for me :p
Can’t believe you’re there! Flat looks cool and I’m so excited / jealous for you. You definitely need to learn to surf 🙂
I did try it once and can safely say it prob ain’t gonna happen again!
Welcome to Aus! Looking forward to meeting you in August. Enjoy Sydney. I have two words for you – Northern Beaches.
Can’t wait to meet you too. And to discover those Northern Beaches (I’m a huge Home & Away fan so it won’t be long before I head there!)
Love this post!!!! I want to move there next year so I am keen to learn everything that you guys get up to whilst there. ENJOY!
Thank you! Let me know if you ever have any questions and I’ll try to help 😉
Hi Jayne, was great to quickly speak to you at your leaving party, Sydney is fantastic and I’m sure you’ll have such a good time as we did! Will follow you on the blog! All the best, Nienke
Thanks Nienke, I loved that you loved it here! Am looking forward to settling in 🙂
Hi Jayne, how exciting! Hope you had a good journey over and are settling into Aussie life…looking forward to reading about all your adventures down under (doona is a favourite word of mine too! Ha ha!) Hopefully we can catch up with you both when we are over in a couple of months time. 🙂
That would be lovely 🙂
Hey Jayne – just wanted to say congratulations, I’m an avid reader of your blog and wish you all the best with your new life… life the dream (and make sure we can all read about it!).
All the best,
Thanks Greg!! Really appreciate it. Hope you are well too x
I’m good thanks, since going it solo and setting up my consultancy about three years ago I haven’t looked back. Busy times what with getting wed in August too so all is good.
I look forward to your posts from down under.
ps. totally meant LIVE the dream, not LIFE the dream, just noticed it and it bugs me that I typed it wrong, apologies.
Congrats! Exciting times for you too. Good luck with the business growth and upcoming nuptials 🙂
have followed your blog for a while but first time commenting as this is quite an exciting news !
I lived as an expat several times and it’s always been the most enriching years of my life. Not devoid of sadness, home sickness and the lots but all in all, really worth it
You chose a great country so you’ll have a fab time.
Looking forward to reading the updates here.
Hi Stephanie, Thanks so much! We’ve had a really positive start and I am so excited about what the next few months have in store. Thanks for following along and your kind words. Happy travels 🙂
I’m so glad I discovered your blog! I’m about to make the same move in September (though London to Melbs) and I am so excited! ~ Claire
Woop! You will love it. Let me know if I can help with any questions. J
Very late to the party but congratulations, we’ve only just moved here (September … but to Perth). hope you’re settling in well xo
Thanks! Congrats to you too. Your place looks gorgeous. How stunning is Oz in the summer?! x